Pride before a fall

Pride goes before a fall The power, wealth, and wisdom of Solomon are legendary. There have even been conspiracy theories that say that the wealth and power of the Knights Templar came from discovery of some of Solomon’s treasures in Jerusalem. But, I have to say, the thing that always struck me in reading Solomon’ story was not how great he was, but how much of a show-off he appeared to be. He just had to show the Queen of Sheba how rich he was. Silver wasn’t good enough for him – it had to be gold, or nothing. Even the famous “cut the baby in half” story struck me as self-aggrandizing. Really – even if you were the woman who’s baby had died, would you really say to go ahead and cut him in two, on the off chance that the other woman would get him? I think the story was probably “enhanced” to make Solomon look even better.

Solomon certainly started out with an attitude of humility. Or, at least the appearance of it. When given the opportunity to have whatever he wanted from God, he asked for wisdom to help him rule Israel. But that didn’t seem to last long. Even in his prayer of dedication of the temple, he seemed never to miss an opportunity to mention that it was the temple that HE built.

Of course, that pride eventually lead to his downfall. The Bible tells us that he was lead to worship other gods by some of his foreign wives. And how else, other than pride, could you explain having 1000 wives? No man could ever hope to be a husband to so many women. Most of us find one more than enough. πŸ˜‰ So while worshipping other gods may have been the nominal sin that caused Solomon’s downfall, it is my belief that it was pride that was the real failure. A fault that I unfortunately see in myself as well.

It’s ironic, of course, that Solomon himself wrote of the dangers of pride. Proverbs 16:18-19 reads

Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.
It is better to be of a lowly spirit among the poor
than to divide the spoil with the proud.

Of course, in Ecclesiastes 3 says that all of life is a cycle, so maybe Solomon was saying he was doomed to repeat the failings of his ancestors, as are we. All we can hope is that, as we move through that spiral, we slowly work our way up closer to God.

In closing, I couldn’t help but include a version of this song

Who would have thought that some Bible verses could get kids screaming with excitement? πŸ˜‰

2 thoughts on “Pride before a fall

  1. Pingback: Got Wisdom? | The Story

  2. Pingback: Keeping up appearances | The Story

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